Seaford school board revisits Common Core


School officials would give a presentation on the Common Core Curriculum relating to English Language Arts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Seaford High School auditorium, Superintendent Brian Conboy announced at the Seaford School Board’s Nov. 7 meeting.

The Common Core Curriculum is a federal education initiative of the Obama administration that has been described as internationally benchmarked, aligned with college and work expectations. It has been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia and has generated some controversy, including some criticism that it is a national curriculum which discourages initiatives by the states and eliminates local control over the K-12 curriculumin math and English. It is a privately written copyrighted plan that has become public policy that also applies to private schools and homeschoolers.

In his administration report, the superintendent also announced that progress may soon be made on an inter-municipal agreement to increase access for the Harbor School road.

He said he has received pledges of support from Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Legislator David Denenberg.

Efforts to alleviate the traffic congestion by extending an access road have been ongoing for about 30 years.

“We are very grateful to the community for its support,” board President Brian Fagan told the Citizen.

The superintendent reported that surplus funds from the budget that had been earmarked for additional clubs would be used for test preparation academies beginning in January at Seaford High School.

The board, under its regular agenda, acted on the following:

• Approved the high school language department’s request for a field trip to France and Spain April 1-10.

• Approved final payment for $19,000 to 192 Branch Interior Services Inc., for the ceiling tile abatement project at the high school. Total contract amount is $382,000.

• Approved final payment of $16,304 to Capitol Restoration Corp., for repairs to the Seaford Middle School chimney. Total cost was $46,786.

• Approved actions relating to special education, including the updated list of committee members.

• Approved the donation of obsolete physical education items from Manor School to the Seaford Community Pre-school.

During public comment, trustees heard from two parents and from the Student Council president of the Manor School about overcrowding of fourth grade classes in the district.

The board president said the issue would be considered during the next budget planning period.

Trustees also heard from resident Joan Bulone who complained about a book used in the fourth grade that appears to give positive statements about gangs, and of data collection organization InBloom, that she said gathers too much information about individuals, including school children.

What kind of nonsense are you teaching our kids,” said Bulone. “Why should a nine-year old be learning about gangs?”

Superintendent Conboy replied that “We read that book and discussed the contents with some concern, but teachers and administrators didn’t want to censor the book.” He said their reasons were that the concept of the book focuses on proper decision making.